DEVCO K-DAY: Encouraging EC Development Staff to Share Knowledge for Better Aid Delivery
The European Union is the world's largest provider of development assistance. To improve how those resources are administered, the Commission's development arm, EuropeAid Development and Cooperation Directorate General, is encouraging knowledge sharing and training of its staff with a special Knowledge Sharing Event, the DEVCO K-DAY, on 3 February.
The Commission may be the biggest player in international development, "but we want to do even better, especially on the quality of aid," said Fokion Fotiadis, Director General of the EC’s EuropeAid Development and Co-operation Directorate-General, (known internally as DEVCO), at a recent annual staff meeting.
Efficiency is central to effective aid provision. The DEVCO K-Day is a first step to show how information sharing can help. "Everybody knows that in big, and even in small constellations, in private as well as in public institutions, making people work together and even talk with each other is not very easy," said Gerard Van-Bilzen, head of the Training and Knowledge Management unit.
“Nowadays, and with the success of social media, that mentality is slowly changing. People start to feel the advantages of sharing knowledge. However, this attitude has yet to gather momentum in professional environments,” said Mr Van-Bilzen. “With this K-Day we want to give that process a big push."
During this K-Day, attendees can share knowledge to deliver better aid. Internationally renowned experts like David Gurteen and Patrick Lambe will assist staff of all grades in several sessions to 'feel' the advantages of knowledge sharing. Participative meeting formats will enable discussion on a range of issues and experience sharing. The event will culminate with proposals for better working methods. Other donors and development partners are invited to share experiences in this field.
The initiative comes at a time when the Commission’s aid departments are undergoing change. The EuropeAid Development and Cooperation Directorate-General was created at the beginning of the year out of the merger of the former Directorate General EuropeAid and more or less half of the staff of the Directorate General Development. The rest of DG Development staff formed a part of the new European External Action Service.
The new Development and Cooperation Directorate General also includes approximately 3,000 Commission staff working on development aid in the more than 130 EU delegations worldwide.
It therefore has to make staff with different backgrounds, spread over almost the whole world, work together in a new environment.
Now, more than ever, collaborative tools and a mentality that breaks down silos between directorates, units and staff, will assist us in finding a path to success. The DEVCO K-DAY is an important first step.
For more info on the DEVCO K-DAY: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/k-day-2011
DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interests of knowledge sharing and capacity development and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission.